IT Best Practices.
Meet the team: Q&A with Jared Villalobos, VP of Operations
How long have you been with Global IP Networks? What was it like early on?
I have been with Global IP Networks for over fourteen years now. I started back in 2008. Back then we weren’t as busy as we are today, but it gave us the opportunity to focus on customer service. It also worked out in the long run as it gave us the vision we have today. Our environment has become one where we make customers feel comfortable and that brings in more customers. Simple concept, but it’s the foundation of our principles.
What were clients like in the beginning? What are clients like now?
Our customers have always been technical in nature. When we first began, back in 2001, we were mostly helping web hosting customers by setting up their hosting portal or helping set up their website. Basically, everything they needed to make their website work. By 2005 we moved on to helping more customers on the data center side and more customers on the infrastructure side.
Now our customers are more on the enterprise level. For them, uptime is critical, so we provide services that keep them running without interruption. We have customers that have been with us for well over eight years, so it’s always nice to see that kind of trust from our customers.
We keep our maintenance transparent with our customers’ operations. They don’t see any drop in their service. Sometimes they have their own maintenance, and they leverage our services to help with that.
The customers that we have now operate at a level where even one second can be a big deal. They have multiple servers spread across several locations, and one second of down time can take weeks to recover. So, keeping them going is extremely important.
How does the operations side help meet Global IP Networks' current mission?
Our mission is to transform, manage, and transport critical business infrastructure. We understand critical uptime is paramount to our clients and we help businesses transform whenever we can. We sometimes even leverage our strategic partnership with other vendors to meet their needs and often exceed their expectations.
What’s great is that CloudKeySM has that ability to maintain operations and can even streamline that process even further. In our current state, we have to set up everything from scratch. Once CloudKeySM is set up for a customer, spin up will take less than an hour, and we can deliver our services to customers even faster.
What are some of your favorite resources Global IP Networks utilizes for operations?
The human resource. As our CEO Reyner Natahamidjaja put it once, “Businesses rely on infrastructure, but at the heart of that is our people.” Throughout our history, that’s what has made us different. It’s what we hear from people the most.
And the timing for CloudKeySM for us is perfect because we have evolved so much since the beginning. It’s so resilient, if there’s issues on one side, we can now bring their entire environment up in another region. CloudKeySM will be a game changer in that aspect.
What are some good IT strategies for businesses to keep in mind?
Schedule or perform IT assessments on a regular basis. Because the IT industry by nature is in the background, no one really knows when patches or updates were performed. They are mostly done outside of business hours. People come in on Monday and everything is back to normal.
IT is usually hidden. No one other than IT staff has access to the background information. If the network goes down, it hinders the ability for the business to operate in a big way. By scheduling the IT assessments, the key stakeholders will be able to plan and budget and prevent unnecessary downtime. We often find that people neglect this part.
We get it. Everything is working, so people often think there is nothing to be done, but we say that companies should have a regular IT assessment at least once a year.
It depends on where they are currently, but the first assessment is going to be the hardest. They might have to act right away on whatever is found, creating a bit of urgency. After that they might be able to spread it out a little further, but at least once a year for sure.
What role do our vendors and suppliers play in making Global IP Networks better?
IT infrastructure is pretty wide and deep, so we’ve built strong relationships with other businesses throughout the industry. When we recognize other professionals in the field, we leverage those services. We have partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Dell, Cisco, to name a few, and we work with them when those services are needed. And those relationships work the other way for us as well, as some of our customers come through referrals from working with other suppliers.
For example, one of our customers in the healthcare industry that embraced our cloud services had their cloud with a different provider. They came to us because they had worked with us on another project and asked us if we could help them with something new. We were able to provide them with a cloud environment and leverage some of those partners that I mentioned. As a health industry environment, I can’t think of anything that is more critical to keep operational.
CloudKey is exciting! How does the operations side help with the cloud platform?
CloudKeySM is our primary focus. We understand uptime so we strive to make sure that CloudKeySM is proceeding as fast and secure as possible. When it comes to CloudKeySM, we are cloud connoisseurs. We leverage our operations to make sure that CloudKeySM always remains operational.
As of now, we are multi-site in the U.S. and we’ve just completed a new setup in Dallas, Chicago, and Salt Lake City. We’re going to continue to provide the same level or better level of service as we continue to expand. We’re positioned in an industry that will grow exponentially. It’s exciting for us. We’re going to be able to operate in a real streamlined fashion. We will be able to help customers faster. We will be able to serve them better. The future of the cloud is looking incredible.